Lackluster Outlook for Saint Louis in 2015
The PNC Financial Services Group provides economic forecasts for those areas in which it has a significant business footprint. The Saint Louis area is one of those areas. While the PNC forecast for 2015 covers several measures, let’s focus on jobs and income.
The economists at PNC predict that the unemployment rate in Saint Louis will continue its slow decline, falling to a little over 6 percent by year’s end (see accompanying chart). Even so, job growth in services is expected to slow as the year progresses, and manufacturing jobs are not expected to show much change over 2015. According to its regional outlook, when comparing potential job growth from the trough of the recession through 2015 across a number of Midwest metropolitan areas, PNC ranks Saint Louis well behind such cities as Indianapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee.
The PNC report, which provided both charts shown here, also predicts that while household income will continue its post-recession recovery, improvement will be slow. As shown in the chart, PNC predicts that median household income in Saint Louis will increase from about $54,000 to approximately $56,000 between the end of 2013 and the end of 2015. This is less than a 2 percent annual rate of increase. As noted in the PNC report, “Income growth in St. Louis still lacks the job market support necessary to break out to a much stronger pace.”